Category: Living in Shanghai

Shanghai Birthday Weekend

Shanghai Birthday Weekend

Birthday season is in full swing and last weekend was the most important one – mine 😉 The festivities, or the food fest to be more precise, went on all weekend and I have so many pictures:

Pastry Class

My first present I got a day early: For Saturday, Thorben had organized a secret activity and I only found out what it was when it started. He tried (and succeeded) to make me think it was a big group exercise based thing, so clearly I was a bit skeptical 😀

Thankfully, we didn’t do a crazy boot camp but a pastry class. Someone we know is a pastry chef and she taught Tim and I how to make St. Honore cake (which included pastry cream and caramel), cream puffs, Choux aux Craquelin, and eclairs. It was a lot of fun and we made industrial quantities! While it wasn’t strictly exercise, my arms still got a workout 🙂

Birthday Dinner & Cake

After all that hard work, we got cleaned up and then headed out to dinner with Tim and Boramy. It was so good and I took too many pictures. Back at home, we joined by two more friends to help us celebrate and make a dent into the cake and pastries. If I may say so myself, everything we made was amazing, so I turned 29 super stuffed and happy 🙂

Birthday Brunch

The eating continued the next day, with brunch and then more cake and pastries at our place. Even after feeding 20+ people, there are still eclairs and cream puffs in our freezer … Not that that’s a problem 🙂

Birthday Party … and more cake

The rest of my birthday was spent at the W Hotel. They had a “Viva Ibiza” Party on their beautiful terrace – you really can’t celebrate with a better view. Also, there was another cake. I love birthdays.

It was such a fun weekend and I’m so lucky to have so may wonderful people in my life. Thank you to everyone who took the time to celebrate with me, and thank you also to my family and friends across the globe who called and send birthday wishes!

A Shanghai Tourist Weekend

A Shanghai Tourist Weekend

Over the long weekend, my sister and her husband came to Shanghai. Now my whole family has been to Shanghai 🙂

The weather was perfect, bright blue skies, 26 degrees and no humidity! That meant we spend a whole day exploring Shanghai on foot, with 27,852 steps to be exact. In the morning, we did a walking tour of the French Concession, including stops at Xintiandi, Fuxing Park and Tianzifang. Despite Thorben’s worries, I didn’t get everyone lost, we arrived at all the planned stops 😉 And because the weather was so lovely, we also went to the Bund and Jing’An Temple in the afternoon.

The rest of their visit was more relaxed with brunches, a trip to the park, dinner and some shopping. Thanks for coming to visit and come back soon! 🙂

Last night, we made dumplings

Last night, we made dumplings

We don’t only go to restaurants or order takeout … sometimes we also work hard for our food. Yesterday, we went to a friend’s house to make dumplings. April had already gotten the dough from the fresh market and prepared the filling before we arrived. I think the filling was made out of chicken, cabbage, spring onions, ginger and some spices.

So to be exact, we didn’t really make dumplings, just stuffed the filling into the wrappers 🙂

My technique still needs some work, but we had fun and they tasted really good – both boiled and pan fried. Great Chinese-Malay-Luxembourgish-Canadian-German cooperation for sure!

Long Weekend Birthday fun

Long Weekend Birthday fun

Last Friday, it was Qingming Festival, which meant a 3 day weekend for us! This was the first time we stayed in Shanghai for a holiday, but we had just as much, or even more, fun. Sunday was Thorben’s birthday (32 – getting old 😉 ) and we pretty much celebrated all weekend.

The weekend was off to a good start with “Social Retox after Dark” on Thursday night at the W. It’s a monthly night brunch they’re doing with free flow drinks. The food was delicious and it was a fun night.

Friday, we tried out a new spot for lunch and had yummy southeast Asian food and then checked out the largest Starbucks in the world, which opened in Shanghai a while ago. It’s huge and filled with tourists/people but it was still pretty cool to go see it once 🙂

For the exercise part of the weekend, we helped 2 of our friends move that day and then had a poker night at our place. Saturday night, we went to “The Big Fat Sober Party” – a cool event with food, mocktails and stand up comedy.

For Thorben’s actual birthday on Sunday, we had a big brunch with almost 30 people and then enjoyed the great weather at a park – it was sunny and 28 degrees 🙂

Overall, a fantastic, sunny, friend, food, and fun filled weekend!

Cherry Blossoms at Gucun Park

Cherry Blossoms at Gucun Park

It’s officially spring! Trees and flowers are blooming everywhere and it’s finally getting warm again. On Sunday, it was sunny and the sky was blue, so while Thorben played archery, I headed to Gucun Park with friends to see some cherry blossoms.

Gucun park is a big park, pretty far away from the city center. It took me about an hour each way but it was so worth it because they have the most cherry blossoms of any park in Shanghai. I read somewhere they have more than 12,000 cherry trees! I don’t know how much of it we covered because the park is huge, but in any case, it was just a sea of blossoms, truly stunning. Last weekend, the trees were in full bloom, so it was really busy there, but with some strategic photo taking, you can barely tell 😉

Just Shanghai Foodie Things

Just Shanghai Foodie Things

In case anyone was wondering, we’ve been having a lot of fun, and eating lots of food since getting back to Shanghai.

I have 2 new obsessions. Bliss/Protein Balls and BonApp.

Before New Zealand, I’ve tried a couple oatmeal based bliss ball recipes and since getting back, I’ve gotten serious. I made Key Lime Pie Coconut bites, Dark Chocolate Chia Protein Balls, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Balls and Passion Fruit Bites. So many more I wanna try, maybe mango ones, or cherry, or lemon vanilla? It’s so fun, like baking but without turning on the oven, which will be great in summer. I was just home for a week (pictures will follow) and I brought back so many ingredients 🙂

My oven hasn’t been abandoned completely. Here is a flourless chocolate cake I baked recently:

I’ve also started writing lots of reviews and posting pictures on BonApp, the restaurant review app I use here (like TripAdvisor, but only for food). I don’t think I’ll become a food influencer soon – sadly – but it’s fun and I’ve found a place to post aaaall of the food pictures I take 🙂

And finally, it was restaurant week again! It started March 14 and I managed to go to 5 places before flying home on March 20. Most of them were repeats from the past 2 restaurant weeks, so I already knew they were going to be great. I got so excited about all the food, and my coming BonApp reviews, I completely neglected to take any people pictures. Oops. Anyway, here is some food:

Boramy, a good friend of ours, also celebrated her birthday 2 weeks ago (during restaurant week!), so we went out for another great dinner and then her party … and then had another birthday dinner a few days later. You can never have too much food when celebrating 🙂